5 Food & Beverage Trends for 2016


Food and beverage trends in 2015 continued the movement towards health and wellness. More event goers are demanding healthier food items that meet the needs of diets and food restrictions as well as have a local or sustainable element that’s good for the environment. Here are five food & beverage trends for the adventurous palate.

  1. New Age Asian: Reinterpreted Asian food is gaining in popularity, mainly because of the healthy options that come with lots of Asian staple dishes. Fermented vegetables such as kimchi in Korean foods, for instance, are said to contain natural probiotics that prevent bad bacteria from damaging one’s health.
  2. Protein Alternatives: The International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) named this trend No. 4 on its 2015 conference food trend list. Proteins such as quinoa, amaranth, tofu and beans are increasingly popular with attendees who are vegetarian or just simply looking to avoid fatty meats.
  3. Infused Tea Cocktails: This trend was named No. 10 on the IACC 2015 conference food trend list. As attendees are trying to shed caffeine from their diet, tea is definitely becoming an alternative choice, and a flavorful infusion makes it even easier to make the coffee-to-tea switch.
  4. Small-batch Sodas: While more attendees are veering away from sweet sodas, locally made soft drinks are gaining in popularity. At the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, the culinary team works with a local soda maker to make the hotel’s signature cherry cola, using nearby Michigan cherries.
  5. Edible Insects: It may sound a bit too creepy-crawly for some, but the idea of insects as a sustainable food is becoming more mainstream. Last year Mexican street food restaurant Wahaca in London put grasshoppers on its menu. Cooked with onions and chili, they can make the ideal protein treat.